Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia is reporting that general manager Pierre Dorion and the Ottawa Senators are open to every option when it comes to pending restricted free agent forward Alex DeBrincat. Dorion and the Senators are prepared to offer the winger an eight-year contract extension, however the 25-year-old DeBrincat has yet to decide on his future which has left the Senators in a holding pattern.
It’s hard to fault DeBrincat for taking his time with such a life altering decision, especially given all the turmoil that has surrounded the Senators in the last decade and the uncertainty surrounding the franchises ownership situation. But, from Ottawa’s perspective they will need a decision soon as they move closer to the draft and free agency at what is a pivotal time for the club.
Dorion expressed these sentiments saying that if DeBrincat indicates he doesn’t want to sign long term or if they can’t reach a number that is palatable for both sides then the Senators will need to look at all their options which includes exploring the trade market or even taking the young forward to arbitration to try and shave as much as 15% off his $9MM qualifying offer. Dorion went on to say that the team should have more clarity prior to the draft making the next month a very interesting one in Canada’s capital city.
DeBrincat was good in his first season in Ottawa, although his numbers did drop from some of his previous campaigns in Chicago. The Michigan native tallied 27 goals and 39 assists in 82 games this past year but put up just 36 points at even strength compared to 50 even strength points the year prior. Dorion felt that DeBrincat struggled at times during the season but got stronger as the year went on giving him optimism that he could get back to some of the elite numbers he posted in Chicago when he topped 40 goals in multiple seasons.